(Update 27 May 2017: Andrew Scheer was elected party leader today. See highlights of his gun policies here.)
(New in this update: Chris Alexander, Maxime Bernier, Kellie Lietch, Erin O’Toole, Andrew Scheer, Brad Trost.)
TheGunBlog.ca is compiling the policies and statements of candidates running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada related to the freedoms and rights of firearms users and owners. The party’s own policy is at the bottom. Party members are scheduled to elect the next leader in May 2017.
Each candidate’s comments were copied from their websites, Facebook posts and replies, other documents and interviews. TheGunBlog.ca encourages you to click on the links to read comments in full and in context.
TheGunBlog.ca will publish updates as often as practicable.
“I think our laws and regulations still have room for improvement to expunge the last residue of Bill C-68.” Meet the Candidates: Chris Alexander, Calibre magazine, 29 Nov. 2016
“I don’t believe that owning firearms makes you a criminal, or dangerous, or a violent person. When I’m Prime Minister, firearms owners won’t have to worry anymore.” Facebook.com, 26 Oct. 2016
“The reality is that ALL licensed gun owners in Canada get daily background checks and receive significant training. Our government should focus its attention on criminals, not law-abiding Canadians.” Facebook.com, 2 Sept. 2016
- Introducing the Gun Owners’ Charter of Rights in order to end the persecution of law abiding hunters, farmers and sports shooters. Furthermore, an ombudsman will be appointed to enforce the charter and address complaints from gun owners;
- Adding the option of extending the renewal time of a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) to 10 years instead of 5, as was recently done with passport renewals, with a one year grace period to legally renew the licence without penalty;
- Streamlining the firearms classification system by adopting the Simplified Classification System as adopted by the members of the Conservative Party of Canada at the 2016 Vancouver National Convention;
- Transferring control of the Canadian Firearm Program from the RCMP directly to the Ministry of Public Safety in order to avoid conflicts of interest between those administering the program and those enforcing the laws;
- Restore regular service standards for the approval of new firearms for import, which were abolished by the Liberals, in order to ensure a fair process.
“I believe that we need to fix the Liberal mistakes that have been implemented in the past. That is why I am bringing to the table the Respect for Gun Owners Reform. I believe it is time for an overhaul; we need to streamline the process.” Meet the Candidates: Steven Blaney, Calibre magazine, 01 Dec. 2016
[Legalize Mace & Pepper Spray for Self-Defence], Facebook.com, 01 Dec. 2016
Please SHARE: Today I announced a plan to make Canada safer by better empowering Canadians to defend themselves from criminal acts.
As Prime Minister I will amend the Criminal Code to make it legal for Canadians to possess mace and pepper spray for self-defence purposes.
My thoughts around this issue are primarily with Canadian women, far too many of whom find themselves the victims of physical and sexual violence. A Statistics Canada study from 1993 found that half of all women in Canada over the age of 16 will be the victim of physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. In 2011, 173,614 were victims of violent crime reported to the police. These are terrible facts and, as Prime Minister, I will take steps to strengthen the rights of women to protect themselves from those that would do them harm.
One sensible way to do this is to allow women to carry and use mace and pepper spray for self-defence. Women should not be forced by the law to be victims of violence when there exist non-lethal means by which they can protect themselves.
If you agree with me that Canadians should better be able to protect themselves from acts of violence the please visit www.safercanadians.ca today.
I will fight the Liberals and defend law-abiding firearm owners.
As Prime Minister, I will end the politicization of firearms and rollback measures that have no impact on public safety. Within 180 days of forming government, I will overhaul the classification system to ensure that it is clear, fair and has law-abiding firearm owners directly involved in the process. Will you stand with me and support my campaign to lead the Conservative Party by purchasing a membership and making a donation?
Canada is a nation with proud rural and outdoor traditions. Learning to hunt or target shoot with a family member is a way of life for millions of Canadians and must be respected. Firearm owners, be they hunters, farmers or sport shooters are among the most law-abiding citizens in Canada.
As leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, I will:
- Oppose efforts to reverse the former Conservative government’s policy advances on firearms, including new restrictions on transportation and use, which I will repeal within 180 days of forming government.
- Oppose regulations that do not advance public safety and instead penalize law abiding firearm owners. This includes the arbitrary reclassification of firearms and magazines.
As Prime Minister of Canada I will:
- Commission an expert-driven redesign of firearm classification based on a clear legislative definition of the term “variant” in consultation with manufacturers, owners and law enforcement.
- Mandate a return to the 180-day period for the re-designed classification system to release firearm import decisions and put final authority for classification decisions back in the hands of cabinet.
- Focus the resources of the federal government on criminals engaged in the trafficking and use of illegal firearms instead of imposing more layers of bureaucracy on law-abiding Canadians.
- Support specialized illegal firearms enforcement led by the CBSA and RCMP working closely with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States, to target smuggling operations before illegal firearms reach the border.
Replies to Comments in “End the Politicization of Firearms,” Facebook.com, 24 Nov. 2016
“…as someone trained in firearms handling by the CAF [Canadian Armed Forces] myself I know the high level of training involved, but this [concealed carry] is not part of my pledge. I am trying to address what I see is the most seriously unfair and broken issue – classification – and restore some elements the Liberals are changing. More importantly, I want to change the dialogue the left uses against lawful owners – I think my background in the military, law and public safety, can help me do this. I try to prioritize and offer a clear and deliverable plan.”
“Responsibility is already the cornerstone of lawful ownership in Canada & owners are statistically among the most lawful citizens. The Liberals and some in the media try and use the violence or gun seizures from organized crime and suggest that hunters or sports shooters are the problem. This is both terribly unfair and untrue. I want to help change that dialogue.”
“The US and Canadian experience are vastly different and many try to exploit the lack of awareness of this. In Canada, firearms ownership is a right that comes with serious responsibility and a system of screening, training, safety and approvals is already in place. Owners are statistically some of the most law-abiding Canadians, so it is offensive to them when more regulation of them is considered a “crime reduction” policy. This is what the Liberals tend to promote. Not only is that profoundly unfair, it is undermining public safety because it doesn’t go after the real risks of illegal weapons and organized crime and gangs.”
“As I have said in previous posts, I think the PM did well and made solid progress. I want to use my experience in law and in public safety to change the entire tone of discussion by the left and some in the media. They like to say they prefer “evidence based decision making” but gloss over the fact that hunters & sports shooters are among the most law abiding citizens. I used the recent Toronto Star editorial as an example – they show a photo of illegal guns seized from gangs when talking about lawful ownership. That is unfair & weakens public safety. I want the entire classification system to be open, fair and remove the arbitrary elements of it.”
“PM Harper had a majority for his last four years and eliminated the registry & made some smart changes. I can only tell you what I intend to do. I also have been very clear that I have no patience for the demonization of law abiding owners by some. I think I have the street cred and ability to help more people understand how this happens and does nothing for public safety.”
“As we look to build more certainty and fairness into the system – like defining variant and bringing users and manufacturers into the classification system – I want to ensure timelines are reasonable. I try to make informed pledges & give enough flexibility to ensure I am not cutting corners on doing things right. I think that time period is reasonable if the process is fixed and more open.”
“I have said the current classification system is muddled and arbitrary. I would like to fix that for fairness and target resources where the real public safety issue is – smuggled weapons and trying to target before the border.”
“Whatever the motivation is, we do not need to justify to the government why we want to own firearms – we have the right to do so.” Meeting the Leadership Candidates: Guns and Politics – Andrew Scheer, by CJ Summers, Facebook.com, 2 Dec. 2016
“I will completely repeal what is left from Bill C-68.” Meet the Candidates: Brad Trost, Calibre magazine, 21 Nov. 2016
Conservative Party of Canada
A Conservative Government is committed to cost-effective gun control programs designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while respecting the rights of law-abiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly.
Measures will include: mandatory minimum sentences for the criminal use of firearms; strict monitoring of high-risk individuals; increased enforcement and prosecution of smuggling; safe storage provisions; firearms safety training; a certification screening system for all those wishing to acquire firearms legally; and putting more law enforcement officers on our streets.
We recognize the legitimacy of private ownership of firearms and will resist any domestic or international pressure to the contrary.
A Conservative Government will not deprive Canadian Citizens of legally owned firearms.
A Conservative Government recognizes that civilian firearms ownership is a Canadian Heritage.
A Conservative Government would streamline Firearms classification by adopting the Simplified Classification System.
A Conservative government would order a review of firearms related laws to identify parts of those Acts that have no public safety value.
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